Courtesy is gentle politeness and courtly manners. In the Middle Ages in Europe, the behaviour expected of the gentry was compiled in courtesy books. The greatest of these was Il Cortegiano (The Courtier) which not only covered basic etiquette and decorum but also provided models of sophisticated conversation and intellectual skill.
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922)
Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 144.
- A moral, sensible, and well-bred man
Will not affront me, and no other can.
- Cowper, Conversation (1782), line 193.
- Life is not so short but that there is always time enough for courtesy.
- Emerson, Social Aims.
- How sweet and gracious, even in common speech,
Is that fine sense which men call Courtesy!
Wholesome as air and genial as the light,
Welcome in every clime as breath of flowers,
It transmutes aliens into trusting friends,
And gives its owner passport round the globe.
- James T. Fields, Courtesy.
- Their accents firm and loud in conversation,
Their eyes and gestures eager, sharp and quick
Showed them prepared on proper provocation
To give the lie, pull noses, stab and kick!
And for that very reason it is said
They were so very courteous and well-bred.
- John Hookham Frere, Prospectus and Specimen of an Intended National Work.
- When the king was horsed thore,
<Launcelot lookys he upon,
How courtesy was in him more
Than ever was in any mon.
- Morte d'Arthur, Harleian Library. (British Museum.) Manuscript 2,252.
- In thy discourse, if thou desire to please;
All such is courteous, useful, new, or wittie:
Usefulness comes by labour, wit by ease;
Courtesie grows in court; news in the citie.
- Herbert, Church. Church Porch, atanza 49.
- Shepherd, I take thy word,
And trust thy honest offer'd courtesy,
Which oft is sooner found in lowly sheds
With smoky rafters, than in tap'stry halls,
And courts of princes.
- The thorny point
Of bare distress hath ta'en from me the show
Of smooth civility.
- Dissembling courtesy! How fine this tyrant
Can tickle where she wounds!
- I am the very pink of courtesy.
- That's too civil by half.
- Robert Brinsley Sheridan, The Rivals (1775), Act III, scene 4.
- High erected thoughts seated in a heart of courtesy.
- Sir Philip Sidney, The Arcadia, Book I, Part II.